The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is a federal, anti-poverty block grant which funds the operations of a state-administered network of local agencies. This CSBG network consists of more than 1,100 agencies nation-wide that create, coordinate and deliver programs and services to low-income Americans in 96 percent of the nation's counties.
In West Virginia, the CSBG, administered by the WV Office of Economic Opportunity, provides core funding to 16 local Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities and to empower low-income families to become self-sufficient. These services are provided to 100% of the state’s counties.
Community Action Agencies (CAAs), were created through the Economic Opportunity Act, a predecessor of the CSBG. Community representation and accountability are hallmarks of the CSBG network, where agencies are governed by a tri-partite board. This board structure consists of elected public officials, representatives of the low-income community, and appointed leaders from the private sector.
Because the CSBG funds the central management and core activities of these agencies, the CSBG network is able to mobilize additional resources to combat the central causes of poverty.